tv Book Discussion on The Brain Electric CSPAN February 15, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm EST
wonderful presentation and great discussion of challenging questions that you raise in your book. thank you very much for participating this evening. >> thank you, sir. [applause]. >> i very much want to thank the friends for putting on the program this evening and to all of you who have come out to hear doctor why brow. i know you come to many of our programs throughout the course of the year. as she pointed out in the beginning, we really do not receive support from the university or the state put on these programs. we rely upon your generosity in order to continue to provide them free to the public. during the holiday season, if you would pick up an envelope and give as generous as you can
to the friends to help us continue our educational mission , we very much appreciate it. once again, many, many thanks for coming out. enjoy the rest rest of your evening. thank you. [applause]. >> we want to hear from you. tweet us your feedback about the programs you see here. twitter.com/book tv. >> and now, i am thrilled to intra-juice malcolm gay. he is an arts reporter for the boston globe where he covers visual and performing arts. he previously worked as a writer for the new york times where he
reviewed visual and performing arts. his writing is also appeared in wired, the atlantic, and shine among other publications. in 2004, the four, the society of professional journalists, northern california chapter named gay the year's outstanding outstanding emerging journalist. in 2005 he received an award for nutrition or food related awards. his work has received other national accolades from the association of alternative news look weekly and in 2009 from nine from the national association of black journalists. in 2010, he was awarded the woodward bernstein award for the missouri association of criminal defense lawyers. he was named an alicia patterson fellow in 2013. he studied philosophy and art at the colorado college, later earning in mm j from the
california berkeley school of journalism where he studied narrative nonfiction. "the brain"the brain electric" s first book. author of america's great debate calls "the brain electric" and masterpiece of reporting and science writing at its best. tonight malcolm will be discussing his book "the brain electric", answering questions and signing copies of his book that we have available for sale at the desperate plea join me in welcoming malcolm day [applause]. >> hello, i actually know many of you. i think you have heard a lot about this book over the years and months and what seems like decades. thank you all for coming. i think we have all had
conversations about "the brain electric" in some ways or another. one thing that people asked me again and again is, knowing me and knowing my history and my interest, how did summary like me become interested in a question like this? it's the one question that people reliably asked me people hear about the brain and they think it's the last place they want to go, but there's a lot of things that contribute to this. if there was one place to put it to my interest, it is about a neurosurgeon and genius extraordinaire and he is in his 40s. i think he has more than 800 patents to his name. he had a robust neurosurgery
practice. he wrote as science fiction novel it was a painter and had a research lab. he's one of these guys that makes the rest of us crazy. he's just incredible. so i started talking to eric after hearing about his work in the first thing that i was planning to do was a magazine story. i was going to do a quick thing, i was writing journalism everywhere and it seems like a great exiting topic. eric brought me into, he was very generous and brought me into a surgery immediately. eric works with three sections of the brain to find the bad brain or the root of any epileptic seizure. this case was not an epilepsy case, it was was a tumor. it was not a well defined tumor, it was a tumor that grows throughout the brain. so, at the surgery, the patient
goes down, the guy goes down and he's a neste size. eric opens his head and in the middle of the surgery eric wakes him up. the guy is dazed and wondering where he is and then the surgical assistant is asking the guy about the most mundane things. he's asking about his job and how the cardinals are doing and what they like to do on the weekend and things like this. but the whole idea was that he wanted the man to keep talking because as eric was pulling away at the tumor, as he was taking out this cancer, he wanted to make sure he wasn't encroaching on any of the language centers of the brain. so as the guy was talking about stocking the shelves at his job and he couldn't remember the name for peas, eric would remember that he needed to back
off of this section. to me it was an incredible moment for me. i think i had some kind of ill formed notion of what makes a personality and what makes us who we are and how we communicate, but here he was working with the biological matter of what we are and he was able to manipulate that and talk about that. not only was he able to work with the substance of the brain itself, but he was able to pull, using electrodes electrodes, thoughts out of the brain. and that to me, all of a sudden these philosophical and biological questions come rushing forward. i realize pretty quickly that the magazine piece had to be scrapped and this was a much bigger piece. one of the things that i think, you're looking at something like the brain and you're looking at this poorly understood object that we never see but is us and
it's a difficult thing to say, well, where'd you get a story about this. a lot lot of the questions are interesting, but how do you keep it or how do you make it into a story. how do you make it something that somebody like me would want to read. what's the narrative setting that you're really looking for? it's a well and good to go to surgeries and talk about these intellectual issues, but the brain is really a black box. i started calling around and started speaking with people who were deep in this field. among them ted berger who is a neuroscientist out of ucla and ted, all of these guys are always the smartest guy in the room, but ted works with memory and he's building a digital prosthesis for memory. he will use an older brain
structure that is critical to memory and he can disable that. then he will, using electrodes, read the neural signals that are coming into the hippocampus. then he'll put those out to a computer and what hill and up doing is, he's crafted what he believes to be a master algorithm of memory. what he can do is bring these incoming signals into his algorithm and that will spit out outgoing signals that mimic the same signals that the hippocampus would create. then he'll mimic that area of the brain to form memories. other people were working in aesthetics of the optics and the visual cortex. one person was working with a
palette that you place on the tongue that allowed people to see because it would be a video camera that would scan the area and that would send small signals to the tongue which is this warm, moist, highly sensitive area. the brain will take those signals and interpret them after time as visual information. people are able to rock climb and hike and play soccer, blind people. there's just tremendous, all all of these things are wonderful and interesting, but what you come up against is how do you avoid this becoming this huge catalog of here's this interesting research and here's this interesting research. i wanted this to be something that brought the stakes of what's happening home. that's the time i met one of the
top guys in the field. he works all over the field in terms of motor and other sensory areas. miguel, at the time was whispering about this new neural prostatic that would bind the brains of multiple animals and create a range of brains. this kind of multi- organism creation that would be a sideboard network. he was also working with bringing in infrared visual information and allowing animals to see area of the spectrum they would not otherwise be able to see. he was doing really edgy, a lot of people would say science-fiction crazy stuff. he also said that everybody in the field was an amateur and that he was the only guy that had the straight dope on this.
that to me, that's a telling moment, right, because all of a sudden you realize it's not one big happy family. it was around that time that i ran into andrew swarts. andrew swarts is another one of these top guys, and andrew was, at the time and still is, working on motor. he was working on trying to reproduce fluid dexterous movement that would mimic an approach of the human body. he had incredible results and andrew, he's one of these guys that doesn't, he is under swayed by social charms. he is interested in measurable's and he's interested in results and he's interested in science.
i really kind of kept quiet around andy a lot but learned a tremendous amount from him. one of the things he said was that everybody in the field doesn't know what they're talking about. so at this point, i kind of of started to realize, here are these two top guys and they have these diametrically opposed ideas of each other and they agree on the field. all of a sudden this narrative architecture of how i can tell this story and enter into these rich intellectual questions and biological and evolutional and philosophical questions. that this would act as a real bridge to be able to talk about that. so what i wanted to concentrate on was this fierce competition among these top neuroscientists.
i think a lot of them would believe the ultimate prize and that's the nobel. that makes it a very difficult thing to report because a lot of these guys have multi-million-dollar labs and if it's thursday they're going to be in korea. it's just the hard way to get into it, but once you actually get into that upper wrong, you were never true or three questions away from talking to these top guys and then asking a question in them saying i have no idea, we really don't know. that's where we are with the brain. there are so many questions that we have so many relating an exciting minute windows onto this mass narrow galaxy and yet we still don't know basic things. at one point andrew says we want
to know all of this but we don't know the first thing about why a neuron fires. that's the most basic thing. one of the grand ironies of this and what i thought was an interesting way to go about it is that you have this clash of titans. you have these incredibly ambitious men and they are mainly men, who are working with the weakest among us. they are working with paraplegics and quadriplegics and people who have had brain stem strokes. these people have, they're not really interested in these big science-fiction questions, they're interested in being able to feed themselves and take care of their daily business. they are interested in just getting to normal. the truth is, most of these people will never actually benefit from this technology. we are really in the beginning
portion of this race. they are going into this with no real thought on how will this affect them. they're undergoing voluntary brain surgery with the hope that it will help future generations. you get this kind of huge ego, incredible science, multimillion dollar project and then these fragile people who are all working together. in a sense they're all working together for this very fundamentally human story. that's harnessing technology to make us more of what we are already are, to make us more human. it's this quest, and i think it gets into some very heady issues. there are lots of ways to approach this question, but i
think ultimately where this goes is this quest for betterment and for bettering who we are. it's very easy to get into science fictional questions about where were going to have google in our brain and cars and other things that may happen. one of the researchers i was speaking with said we know we have arrived when were doing the most normal, mundane things with this like brushing our teeth and combing our hair. that's really what a lot of these people are working with. i think that was really what the story is about. it's about neuroscience and all these other questions. it's also about people who are deeply engaged in these questions out of these
fundamental human needs. that is a little bit about what my thinking, in terms of how i put the the book together and what i wanted the book to be. there is a lot of serious neuroscience and it but i wanted to write a book about something that somebody like me would want to read. i think i'll and there and we can talk about it more. i hope you enjoyed it. i'm going to read the beginning of chapter six. i don't have any water. andrew swarts knew if you wanted to stay relevant you have to stick penetrating electrodes into the cortex.
the agency had opted to go with the laboratory at johns hopkins. they have tons and tons of military contracts. they are used to dealing with these guys, he said. they have a comfort. they like to do all these 3d gantt charts. when they announced the project, it also releases potential performers, research laboratories that the agency is willing to fund as part of the project. any researcher that can administer a project can choose from that list, building a team across institutions. for swarts, that that meant working with a project manager on a select up of robotic experts to build an arm before linking to the brain. there less than six people in the world who know how to build a robotic arm and they all come from mit. all these other yahoos basically said we can build a robe robot arm. it's like, i'm sitting there and you're going to be my boss he
said? need this dissenting get on any of those teams but he was effectively locked out. the. the pentagon had shut the door. but his funders were far from cutting him off. they wanted him to keep working with monkeys and awarded him a 2 million-dollar contract for a study that would catapult his research onto 60 minutes and new york times. they have people doing the same kind of thing i was doing, a lot more people with a lot more money. they didn't get anywhere. they they cap meet at the backup lab. other researchers had successfully close the loop with a robotic arm. it had either taken place in virtual environments with computer screens.
mental control of a cursor would be a boom to a quadriplegic. he wanted a brain controlled limb that could use to brush her teeth are, your hair. the race was on and swarts devoted his research funds aimed directly at that goal. it turned out to be great. i didn't have to report to anybody. i just did my own work. with electrodes in hand, he and his colleague began to work with two monkeys and a pair of robot arms. they train the research monkey and that fell somewhere between research and science. you can't tell a monkey what to do so they have to derive genius ways to familiarize the animals. it's a delicate procedure and he trained his monkeys to use a joystick. pressing the joystick joystick forward they learned how to use the robotic arm. as the monkey brought the marshmallow back, they fixed it
in one of four positions for the monkey to grab. once the monkeys were familiar, they remove the joystick. meanwhile they recorded the neural activity while placing the arm under automatic control giving researchers command over the arm if it grabbed food and brought it to the monkey's mouth. one the great discoveries of the late 20th century happen in the lab of a famous scientist. he had implanted an electrode of a monkey hoping to listen in on neurons he thought were associated with hand and mouth movement. the researchers record individual neuron activity as the monkey reach for up peanut. by that measure the experiment did not differ tremendously from the other researchers in other labs. what set his apart, during a break between task, the monkey sat idly in the chair.
the monkey wasn't moving at all. when one of the researchers snatched up peanut and popped it in its mouth the neurons that they had been recording erupted as if the monkey grabbed the peanut itself. it was a shocking discovery. the brain or at least this group of cells seemed not to distinguish between an action performed in an action observe. here was a class of neurons that was involved in motor planning but was also interested in the physical actions of others. much has been written and brain researchers have proposed that these systems play a critical rolls in recognizing the needs of others. we feel deep sympathy for characters in the film and those who are injured. at some basic level our brain physically re-creates the experience as if it was our own. those are the fundamental mechanism by which we feel
empathy but also play a role in series of mind enabling us to recognize that people have ideas that are separate from our own. the brain's ability to to re-create actions prepare the monkeys brain for brain computer interfaces. as the monkey watch the arm grab a piece of food, the animals neurons began firing as if they were grabbing the fruit with your own arm. meanwhile they use the information to build their decoder. the computer algorithm that specific firing patterns with particular movements. as the researchers continued moving the arm, the algorithmic association grew stronger. eventually they began to dial down. the monkey --dash they encourage
the monkey to move the arm and the desired back and forth movement. it was the synergy between animal and all all the algorithm. the results on paper published in 2008. cbs and 60 minutes came calling. this study was on the front page of the new york times and was picked up by countless other news organizations. no one had ever seen such elegant neuro- control. he had knocked it out of the park. it was a gratifying moment but not a comfortable one for a guy who's more interested in the science. i hated it. i can never express what i wanted to express. yes they can grab food and bring it to their mouth. still, he was undeniably proud of the work.
he showed proof of principle. not only could the monkey gain control over a robot arm but he could use it as a worthy surrogate of its biological counterpart. this factor of dci kept the public interested and the cash flowing. it was the underlying science that excited swarts. they were telling him things about how the brain turns, its relationship to objects and thought itself. i always laugh when -- i always say you to find that for me. they can't define it. they can't even define the necessary parameters of thought so how my supposed to find it. what swarts develop was a closed
input output system. he could use it to test the accuracy of the model. we can prove how well it works because we can look at the movement with the performance. you can't do that if you say oh, thought takes electricity. where's your model? based on my model my hypothesis, my, my subject can do this. i'll stop there. [applause]. so the book has many different labs and many different researchers. andy plays a big role in it. a lot of these guys are doing terrific work. if you have questions i will be happy to answer them to the best of my ability.
>> how did you get people to give you time? you mention many of them are such big fish and have so much responsibilities and money and other people try to interview them. how did you get them to give you that time and was there anyone of those big fish that you couldn't get and wouldn't give you the time? >> persistence, groveling, whiskey. [laughter] no, it was a lot of persistence. i called these guys again and again and again. you never get them. you always get the secretary or someone else. i stopped some of them. i went to the conferences and grab them and say we need to talk, i have these questions for you. at one point, i drove out to pittsburgh to meet his big research subject, the one that i
was promised to see but when i arrived, they turned me away and said no you just have to go home now. so i did that. there was a lot of persistence. there was a lot of scraping and a lot of traveling there a lot of people i wanted to speak with a lot of these guys, are the classic scientist. they don't want to engage with the public. they are very interested in the research. one of the researchers, one of swarts' counterparts, very early on said he would not talk to me. at a certain point, i had to respect that. as i was saying this great
shifting that happens and at a certain point i said well i have this story and the story and the story. with eric, i would've gone much further with him but there were issues, he was taking one of his technologies and forming a private company around it that's actually doing quite well now. one of the funders for that company, at one point in no uncertain terms told me to leave her life. it was over at that point. i really had to, in some respects, i had to follow the story and go with the story that i had. eric had done so many different things that i was able to concentrate on one area but not the other. it was persistence in a lot of ways.
>> i know there is a lot of work done on prosthetics. is there coverage of what you might call the more science fiction or cutting edge -- the the book deal with any sort of that? >> it's sort of does. it's always in the mix. a lot of people like eric and they are futurists. they are as interested in helping people medically and getting people to normal as they are as putting google in your brain and having something like
a and neuro- implanted car or motorcycle. one thing they speak to on the science-fiction level is talking about having this brain to brain interface. at that point, his research really presses up against our notion of biology and our notions of self. we have these ideas of what makes a human in terms of biological confines of humanity and when miguel starts talking about linking the brains of multiple humans into a network, he is very quick to say what sort of consciousness emerges from that? the truth is, we have no idea. we can't know know and maybe we can't even understand it because were not smart enough. maybe there is another type of
consciousness that emerges from these linked consciousness that we are linked to. >> they say the google thing is a relatively simple project and it's not too many years away with 247 access to the internet just by thinking about it. >> eric is an optimist. he's a professional optimist. i mean what we are going to be able to do, at this moment and i thought of bringing one of these in, you can buy off the shelf eeg, but eeg is always going to be a somewhat limited interface. it's going to have all of these various muscular artifacts and you don't know that you're necessarily getting neural information. i think the day when we are lining up for outpatient
implants, that's a little ways away. there are, you can control it drone with your brain today. eric's lab has created an app for your air iphone where you can play brain doctor. it's already out there in a lot of ways. its utility remains unclear. in some ways the consumer models remain kind of boggled, i would say. but you know, i think that you look at where the technology is going and i think people are excited about the science.
[inaudible] >> i'm not a scientist, but it was a steep steep learning curve. i was reading nature articles and science articles to not only understand the science but to understand the science to a point where you can actually explain it in a dramatic, interesting way. just that you can explain it in simple terms that people can understand. you learn to read the articles,
when you start there's so much hyperbole and these studies come out and a lot of people in the press they say oh my, look what they did that they don't know how to read the study. you look at the study the claims and methodology are much more modest than what they appear at first glance. you start to understand the limitations of what these people are doing. it was a steep learning curve on that, for sure. >> where there are things you really learned or were observing that was really challenging?
>> when you go into the monkey labs it can be challenging to see the animal models. a lot of them are working in animal models. i wasn't as concerned by that as i thought i would be. most of these animals, granted their research animals but in that realm, they are well cared for, groomed and seem, i didn't, i didn't spend a lot of time with them, but it is a big question. people get very worried about it. it's a legitimate debate.
to this day, they do not publish the address of the animal research house. it was challenging to me. the other thing that was challenging was that people really do believe these technologies will help them. they didn't think this would help them immediately. he was doing it with the expectation that somewhere down the road he would be -- i'm certain the researchers have many long conversations and want to know what they think is possible and yet it didn't completely sink in. there's this shared delusion that goes on that is not entirely comfortable.
the other thing i am not comfortable with is the patent thing. at one point he says everything between the brain and the skull, that's me. another guy in the book has other patents. when you start getting into privatizing technologies and privatizing the brain in that way, it becomes -- and i'm not saying it shouldn't happen that way necessarily, but i am saying it becomes a question. >> do they sue each other? >> off the record, no, i don't think they have sued one
another. there haven't been any lawsuits but there have been threats of lawsuits between two top researchers. it had to do with the formation of cyber kinetics which was a bci group or company that was trying to privatize and create what they call brain gate and one of the researchers that had been in the public realm and they moved to patent in form this company. he threatened to sue but never did. >> when we talk about the patients, they expect more than they're going to get up in the i would say that was one person. >> i get the idea -- >> i think they do. that's the flip side of this.
think jan, in the book, she was raised catholic and the idea of service and just helping others was instilled in her from a very young age. her big cause was hunger. she would donate canned goods and all of this stuff. when she, she suffers a very rare disease, it's very slow neuron death and over the course of a few years she became paralyzed. she became despondent. part of that was that she felt she was a burden on others. she felt she was a burden to her family. she couldn't help anyone anymore.
even if she wanted to volunteer, she she would have to have someone help her volunteer so she would be an imposition. she became suicidal at a certain point. this research, and she's very clear that this research is not going to help her immediately, but the very idea that this is going to help future generations of the disabled has given her such spiritual solace and has reignited, it has given her renewed meeting and spiritual dimension to her life that for a long time she felt that god had abandoned her. in that respect, i don't know that that's quantifiable, but it's a real benefit. >> have you found in your research if there are politics involved in this now especially
in the more practical dimensions to help paraplegics and all the people who are coming back from combat, is there more money for it? >> so there are couple things, yes there's more money for it. one is jeffrey lang who was the driving force of nature. he's in the book. he is the one who spear headed the movement for prosthetics. he was in the army for a long time and then was recruited and served two tours in iraq. he came back and saw several
people with amputations. some of them were from leftover mines from russia. some of them were from combat. he came back and really felt, and he was also trained as a neurologist, and wanted to make these kids whole again. one of the problems with upper limb prosthesis is that the lower limbs are mostly soft and they lose parts of the leg due to vascular issues. it's not a simple prostatic for the leg but it's much easier engineering challenge to craft a prostatic leg than it is an arm because arm moves in free space and it hangs and has all of these various challenges like 26 degrees of freedom versus nine in the leg. and, the market share for upper
arm prestigious is almost nonexistent because there are so many people who have amputated legs but when somebody is looking at r&d to create a per thesis of people who would actually benefit from this and buy it, they say we would not be able to get a reasonable return on our investment. that's where the research group steps in. in that respect it's politics broadly spoken and really did help with this. obama in 2013 had the the great initiative. there is a lot more money than there has been in a long time.
>> this is been a new medical device and have they decided how they're going to regulate it as it becomes more available to more people and they start utilizing it. will it be regulated in a different way? could that be. [inaudible] is that something people look at and it's too foreign and they need a regulatory process? >> right now, for instance, most of the implants actually puncture the brain and go into the brain itself. that is a really intense regulatory process to get the fda to approve that kind of implant. eric was able to sidestep that equation by using a type of
implant that doesn't actually pierce the brain, it sits on top of the brain and it's part of it to step up epilepsy procedure. they wait for the person to have a seizure to localize it. during that time he creates these interfaces. he hasn't had to deal with that sort of regulatory framework in that regard. going forward, if if this were to become an actual commercial device which he has every intention to do, i think that would then become, at this point he is working with eeg. if he were to try to get into actually brain implants that were ecog implants, i think that
would be a lot more regulatory hurdles to jump before he got there. at this point, he has done a couple of studies with it and very few of these implants have actually made that leap. there is one that's called narrow paste which is like brains stimulation and delivers a small volts of electricity to bypass epilepsy seizures. i did -- they did have to pass fda procedures like anything else. that would be a challenge. >> any other questions?
>> who is funding all of this? >> a lot of this is being funded by the military and department of defense. the national science foundation funds quite a bit of it. the federal government and a lot of it is being funded by the military. you know, i think in past iterations of these research initiatives, in their statement they said they want to effectively build that or, stronger, faster, smarter soldiers. that's kind of fallen by the wayside. they are really interested in the basic science of getting the motor system up and running. there have been programs in the past where they try to neurally link fighter pilots to their cockpits and use dci to help people have enhanced cognition during periods of prolonged
sleep deprivation. there have been's gary questions but these days it's really about getting these guys back to normal. >> is a likely that insurance companies will be willing to pay for a new arm if you get in the accident and are injured? i assume it will be very expensive. >> it will be hugely expensive. i don't know. i can't really answer. i don't really know if healthcare would cover that, but may be. >> did your research stay within the united states? >> so there's kind of a continental divide or an
atlantic divide. most of the people working invasively, meaning they are actually accessing the brain directly are in the united states. in europe it's much more eeg. i spoke with people in england. i didn't, i stayed away from eeg so i didn't talk to too many europeans are people that are based in europe. several europeans are working here in the united states including phil kennedy who made news recently. this is one of those things where i wish the book was coming out a little later. he went to, i believe it was belize and had surgery done on himself to implant electrodes in his own brain so he could study himself. so it really takes all kinds. >> so it's defense oriented and
their thinking about stronger powers abroad. >> there's a lot of interest in germany and in england and in france. those three countries have a fairly robust lab. the italian lab were huge in terms of the really foundational things with the entire group of researchers that created or uncovered this idea of mirror neurons. [inaudible] >> you should buy the book and read it immediately. so that's a great question. it's one of the questions that when i was talking about how i was thinking about writing this
book, one reason i didn't want to do, do you want to just catalog something is because every two weeks there's a huge advance. i really tried to concentrate on the underlying science, the core technology. in terms of incremental advancements, they are happening every day. in terms of the broader part of the story, the terrible pun to come is i think it had legs. my hope is that it will continue for years to come if there are
no other questions, thank you very much. it was wonderful to be here [applause]. >> every weekend on c-span2, book tv offers programming on nonfiction authors and books. keep watching for more here on c-span2. >> the reality here is that china could shut down north korea tomorrow because they provide 40% of the food and fuel to that country and it's a baffled state, essentially. but they don't do that. to me, north korea represents is something might michael o hannon shared with me from the booking
institute and that is the distraction we've had with the middle east. the bush administration after 911 was aware of a korean rise but as soon as 911 hit, that was order over. in 2003, thousand three, the bush administration was preparing to invade iraq, what did north korea do? they spirited 8000 fuel rods out of the civilian reactor which we had been watching and they agreed not to do it. they got that reactive material to places we can no longer fine. that was the day, because we were distracted in the middle east, that was the day they became a nuclear power. it's taken over ten years ten years in order for them to get to where they are but they are going to get even further. one of the most chilling interviews i had was with the
man at johns hopkins university. i said they're going to get pretty good at seattle and heading a new, and he said yes but there's nothing we can do about at this point. so north korea is very much a trigger point. if you swing around the ark and you go to this island, its 1.3 mi.2 of territory. rocks in the. rocks in the sea, no problem, well it's also 200 miles of an exclusive economic area in a circle of resources. it's also a tunnel of taiwan and of china is able to grab that and turn it into one of these forces it turns it into vulnerability for japan. we are ready saw what in 2010 over that. we had riots all over. crazy nationalist going crazy
talking about going to war with japan. that's a flash point. swing around to the south china sea. nine -- line, that's the the claim that began in 1947 that basically called the cows tongue because that's what it looks like to 80% of the south china sea. we are there now. our warships are there now as we speak, circling around some of these fortress garrisons with china is trying to turn into artificial islets into real territories. that's a flash point. of course you have the perennial issue of taiwan. china calls at the renegade providence, an island of 20 million people who are right now really depressed and afraid. they are depressed and afraid for two reasons. one is that they see china slowly, just like a python in
circling them and they also see in the u.s. that may not no longer have the result to stand with taiwan. i interviewed one professor who proposed a grand bargain to trade taiwan for peace everywhere else. [laughter] yeah, fortunately everybody else i talked to didn't think that was such a good idea. i think it does reflect the fact that if push comes to shove we might not have american forces standing up like we did in 1996. :